An Impressive 96% Reduction in Particulate Matter Emissions
FedEx is announcing today that it has converted 92 of its trucks to diesel-electric hybrids (using lithium-ion batteries), bringing the total number of hybrids the company has to 264. There are a few reasons why these conversions are noteworthy.
First, despite a bigger and more powerful engine (going from a 5.9L 175 HP diesel engine to a 6.7L 200 HP one), the converted trucks show an improvement of 44% in fuel economy, a decrease in particulate matter (PM) emissions of 96% (!), and a reduction of NOx emissions by 75%. These are some of the best numbers I've seen for heavy duty vehicles. FedEx is asking for government help to "end a Catch-22 situation: Production volumes are low due to high cost, and costs will only come down with higher production volumes", and frankly, if they can get these types of numbers with conversions (and possibly even better numbers with vehicles designed from the ground-up to be hybrids), maybe it would be worth it (at least while we wait for battery electric or hydrogen delivery trucks). It might also be interesting for FedEx to look into natural gas hybrids to reduce emissions further.
But also, the converted trucks are 2000-2001 models and have an average of 300k-500k miles on them. By converting them to diesel-electric hybrids, the company is extending their lives, and thus reducing waste. "“FedEx and our suppliers have demonstrated that converted hybrids are a viable, lower-cost option compared to purchasing new hybrids."
The 92 retrofitted hybrid vehicles will be placed into service in California, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metropolitan areas
Via FedEx, Green Car Congress
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